The Official Page of Justin Bienvenue
|Posted on May 17, 2022 at 7:50 PM|
It’s been a while since I’ve blogged and there’s two good reasons for that. I stopped blogging around 2019 because it became more of a chore and less of enjoyment for me. I found myself writing because I felt I needed to, not because I wanted to. After the joy of blogging left me, I decided to leave it behind. However, Covid happened the following year and during this I was without a computer for a whole year. The ironic thing was I said when I get my computer back that I was going to start blogging again. 2 years later and I still have not started it up again because...that’s where we get into what I’ve been doing and reason number two as to why I haven’t blogged.
The second reason I haven’t been blogging is because I’ve been busy writing books, four to be exact. When I got my computer back I also said I was going to not only finish writing the book I started but I would write another. Well, what was supposed to be two books turned into four books in one year which for me is quite an accomplishment. I thought writing books over blog posts was the better choice and I’m sure most would agree. Writing those books wasn’t exactly a walk in the park, but then again I’m yet to find an author say it was easy. That being said, my first steampunk novel, Of Gears and Gaslight was a bit of an issue to write because it was my first steampunk novel which meant I needed to do a lot of research. After it was written I had the cover made but there were lots of uploading issues due to the cover not being the right size and other things but finally it was fixed and I published the book.
The cover was not only good to go but in the month it’s been out has won an award for Best Cover. I knew the cover was great but never thought it would win an award which it quite an honor. I could have given up on my cover artist, but I stuck with her and believed in her and the result was well worth it. I then finished writing The Wax Papers, the 3rd book in the Wax Factory series and my fourth book in a year. I had another cover artist do the cover, and this cover looks amazing too. So you might be wondering, okay he wrote four books, but what’s he doing to promote them? What now?
Well, that’s exactly the what now, I’m going to spend the summer promoting the books in various ways. I recently purchased a package for $40 which gave me access to 70 courses all are various ways to promote, market, blog, ways to organize your writing, how to get reviews, etc. All of this was over $8,000 in value and I got it at an insane price, so it will definitely help me in getting my books out there to readers. I’ve started watching and taking some of the courses and so far they’ve been helpful to me. I hope to do some serious promoting this summer and perhaps even make my new books a part of people’s summer reading lists.
So this brings me back to blogging. Now that I’ve written four books, have several dozen ways to promote them I plan to start blogging again which is exactly what I’m doing with this post. This post is the start of me blogging again and I plan to do it more often with my schedule in place. I have five topics and two additional ones I will write about which you see at the top of this blog page. I hope this time around I will enjoy the topics I write about and I think now that I’ve had time away from it to focus on other things that I can do just that.
|Posted on September 20, 2019 at 8:20 PM|
"You've seen them. Little towns, tucked away far from the main roads. You've seen them, but have you thought about them? What do the people in these places do? Why do they stay?" -Rod Serling's opening narration in "The Twilight Zone" episode, "Valley of the Shadow"
Fictional towns. We read about and see them in countless movies and television shows. Like the quote above that asks about small towns can be also asked about fictional towns. Have you ever thought about them? Why do they exist? Are the people there just like you and me? If you're like me then you ask these things and you wonder and perhaps also like me you've created your very own fictional town. Whatever the reason maybe I want to take a closer look into fictional towns, why they were created, their backstories if they have any and how real they are compared to real towns and cities. Also, I'll delve into where these fictional places supposedly are because after all they may be fictional but where they are may just be close to where you live...
From Gotham City to Castle Rock, from Wayward Pines to Salem's Lot; these are just some of the most famous fictional towns in which we are familiar with and know very well. But why exactly do fictional towns exist? Why are they created? Well, there are a couple of simple reasons for this. The first reason is that since the story that's being told is fictional and everyone in it is as well then it's only fitting that the place where everyone resides and everything happens is fictional too.
Another reason may be simply that the author wanted to create their own fictional town. I suspect this to be the reason Stephen King created his many towns in Maine while also wanting to show people where he is from. Another reason may be that you don't want to create a fictional story in a real town because it may cause rumors and people to think that what happens in the story happens in the real town that it takes place in. Needless to say, it's way easier for an author to create a fictional town and it also gets our imaginations going on what the towns would look like and if they differ from ours.
The people we come to know in these fictional towns usually serve as our main characters or heroes. As readers, we are either introduced to a whole group of townspeople who make up the town or we get a main character or hero whose duty is to protect the town or represent it. Obviously, since fictional characters need a place to stay and reside they reside in fictional towns. This is not always the case but in most cases it is. It's not done not out of the fact that it has to be this way but it's easier this way and really makes you wonder not only about the people but about the town and the details the author goes through to tell you about it.
Some fictional towns have elaborately detailed backstories such as Castle Rock, which Stephen King has been writing about and adding to for years. Other cities are merely mentioned in books or shows and only serve as vessels to contain the story and characters. I like to think that the fictional towns with detailed backstories are the type of towns that create great stories and tales. To bring up King again, he actually uses the same towns for several of his stories which are not only creative but a real fun idea and good way to get people interested in your works. Many fictional towns while the imagination of the author can also have real-life attributes from real cities and towns that the author themselves either live in or have been to at one time. Adding a bit of realism into a fictional town is a good way to give it substance and make a reader relate the next time they adventure into a creepy small town or even a happy place like Mayberry.
Stephen King places his fictional towns in Maine and even gives them actual spots on a map if you were ever so deeply inclined to check them out. Some authors actually describe the county or place a fictional town on a map so you could almost see it if you were to look on one. Again this is a fun vivid effect(at least I think so) and one that connects a fictional town to the realism of a real town. Now if you read science fiction then chances are not only is the town fictional but so is the planet and galaxy which is going way beyond and creating a whole world. Settings for fictional towns can also be created if the town is based on two real-life cities(example: my fictional town of Toomswood in A Bloody Bloody Mess in the Wild Wild West is based on Toomsuba, Mississippi and Riverwood, Alabama).
If fictional towns teach us anything it's that they can be as real as any town we ourselves live in just like the people who live in them. Some go into details, some don't. Some are created because it's only natural and some because it's better to leave eerie and creepiness out of a real town and scare the people who live there. I wanted to take a deep look into fictional towns because it always made me curious as to why they were created and because of my own creative fictional town of Craven Hollow, New York which is the setting for The Wax Factory series. Fictional towns can be big or small, have a lot said about them or nothing said about them at all.
"You've seen them. Little towns, tucked away far from the main roads. You've seen them, but have you thought about them? Have you wondered what the people do in such places, why they stay?"
|Posted on May 28, 2019 at 3:40 PM|
They have nothing to do with one another. You don’t need to be a reader in order to be a writer because while they share the common trait of books and literature it is a reader that needs a writer but not the other way around. Readers who love certain writers wait for their favorite writer to write the next book of their favorite series. A writer doesn’t need to wait for a reader, they hope a reader jumps onto their writing. A writer should be appreciative that a reader picks up their writing but why should it matter if a writer doesn’t read? After all a writer’s audience is not other writers, they are if the author writes about writing but a fictional author no. Let me clarify that again, a writer’s audience is not other writer’s unless the genre they are writing is about writing and helping other authors.
Now everyone has their own opinion however to me what I have stated above speaks volumes and is quite clear and makes sense yet I still think I have skeptics, those who still think the opposite and that is totally in your right to have that opinion, however it is not in your right to push it in the face of those that don’t believe and result to insult people who don’t believe that writers need to read. Readers are going to read, writers are going to write. And people are going to take to social media to try and make their point even if it means disrespecting others who don’t share the same opinion as them. Let’s examine this a bit further, just because a writer doesn’t read books as often as a bookworm per say does NOT mean the following:
-The writer doesn’t read books at all(just not as much as them)
-The writer doesn’t read anything(we as humans read everyday but doesn’t mean books)
-The writer doesn’t know how to read(some people actually think this)
-The writer’s writing will suffer because they don’t read(it won’t because it has nothing to do with their writing)
-The writer doesn’t experience and take in knowledge(They do just not as much as a bookworm or traditional reader would)
The point? It hasn’t changed, just because someone doesn’t read and they are a writer doesn’t mean anything, it simply means if anything that they are more dedicated to their writing and can get more writing done because that is their choice. Not everyone is going to enjoy reading so just because someone becomes a writer they are supposed to read more? If they didn’t read a lot before than then why would becoming a writer change anything? It wouldn’t and shouldn’t. If A person doesn’t like to read then that’s their right, their choice. They should not be chastised for it. I personally do not like to read however that doesn’t mean I don’t know how to read, it doesn’t mean I don’t read books and it certainly doesn’t mean my writing suffers because of it. When I became a writer I actually started reading more and found a new appreciation not only for reading but for my fellow indie authors.
In conclusion, everyone is entitled to their opinion, writers are going to write and readers are going to read. The better question to ask is if a reader writes a few things are they considered a writer? Or are they merely readers picking up a new hobby or taking a stab at the other side of the spectrum? However you want to look at it the point remains the same that reading and writing while crucial to us as humans do not need to read in order to be writers. Writers can get inspiration from many things some may choose to do so by reading and others from taking in all around them. The choice is their’s and their’s alone. Is it easier to read or to write?
Obviously it’s easier to read that’s without question however again people will be criticized if they don’t read as writers because there’s so much irrelevant accusations and speculations of the individual. Let me clear that up in case you got confused. Some writers or people in general find reading to be difficult not because they cannot read but because they have a hard time getting into a book or simply devoting time into a book because they are busy doing something else such as writing. Read if that’s what you want to do, and write if that’s what you want to do but don’t throw shade at others because they don’t share the same appreciation for reading as you do. We are all different and we all like different things and we all enjoy similar things.
|Posted on July 3, 2017 at 3:15 PM|
Harry Potter, Christian Grey, Katniss Everdeen, Holden Caufield. We know them well as they are some of literatures most popular characters. Their names resonate with us the minute we hear them. We know immediate what book they are in and even if we haven’t read a single book their in we likely know a little bit of who they are. Why is this? Well aside from the obvious of some names being the associated with the title of the book, names are everything when it comes to characters. In order for a novel to stand out it needs a strong main character who will take on a challenge or adventure or connect and seem real to a reader. One way this can be done is by giving that character a name, a name that will not only represent what that character stands for but will stand out among the rest. How important is it to give your character a fitting name? It’s necessary and essential to your stories very existence. Sure you can name your characters John Smith, Emily Jones or James King but your not giving them identity, your not giving them a name that will stand out among the top names listed in the beginning. A character name needs to stand out, when you read it you immediately know who they are or when you see their name it gives you a sense of intrigue and makes you want to read and know more about them. How important is the naming of a character? More important then you would think.
Harry Potter. If you really think about it the name seems rather generic if you take out the fame that now comes with it. Before Harry potter was written the name could have easily gone unnoticed as seen as a common one. However now anytime we see the name Harry Potter we immediately associate it with the book series of a boy wizard. So while this shows that it is possible to take a generic name and turn it into a popular one it’s still better to give your character a unique name that stands out above the rest so people can easily know what they are from. The other names listed above are all unique and catch your eye. While Harry Potter and Sebastian Gray are names a real person could have how many people have you met that have the names of Katniss Everdeen or Holden Caufield? Probably none and if you have they are likely named after the characters. Many writers would not think to give any deep thought when it comes to naming a character. They think that the setting, plot and character details are important and a name is just a name. Yes perhaps that’s true but you need to give that setting, plot and character detail substance and that starts with what you think is the easiest thing of all..naming your character. A writer can pick a common name and still make that character stand out but if a writer really wants to get people to read their book or even just be original they need to think deep about what name they want to represent their book and their character.
A little bit of research is necessary in the naming of a character as well. If you book is set in China and your character is from there then naturally your going to give your character a Chinese name. If your character is from another country then you want to give them a name that originates from that country. If you really want to get into detailing and representing what your character is about you could even look up the meaning of a name and give the character that name so they live by the very name they were given. Origin, originality and a strong powerful visual of the name can really make your character seem very real. How can you come up with a great sounding name for your character? Look up names alphabetically, look up baby names, look up names from a certain country, ask people, watch movies. You can get names from so many sources its about choosing the right one that may be a difficult task but when you find the right one you’ll know. So remember the next time you need to decide and come up with a name for a character to sit down and give it some thought. Don’t use John Smith, Joe Schmo or Jane Doe, be original, be unique and give your character a name that not only represents your book but you can be proud to say you came up with your made your own.
|Posted on June 12, 2017 at 3:35 PM|
My Writing Influences/Inspirations
One question I get as a writer is who are your writing influences? Who inspires you? I’m sure you get asked the same thing. The response should come out of you as quick as it was asked because let’s be honest here, we’ve had plenty of time to think of this question. These are people who are the reason to why we write, what got us started on this path and made such an impact on us that we thought, you know what? I want to become a writer and author. So who are my writing inspirations? Well as you know I am both a writer and poet so I have quite a mixed bunch of writers but here are some of my influences and inspirations.
Edgar Allan Poe-
This should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me. Whether you’ve read my Macabre Masterpiece books or just read a horror story by me you can clearly see the evidence of Poe. Like most people I read The Raven, The Tell-Tale Heart and many more of Poe’s work in school the only difference is I kept reading long after I got out of school. I already liked horror and I felt Poe’s words were creepy and morbid yet chilling, true and captivating and it’s this very thing to which has inspired two books and my love for horror. Aside from writing two books of horror poetry I have also written stories with an essence similar to Poe’s and I’ve even paid homage to him in a blog post. In many ways Poe is a great part of my writing life and like many of us who enjoy him I’m sure it will continue on for as long as I write.
This one may be a surprise. Rod Serling is mostly known for “The Twilight Zone” and “Night Gallery”. What people may not know is that he wrote many stories to which became episodes for the shows. I absolutely love The Twilight Zone so naturally Rod Serling’s adaptations and writings really resonate with me. While I mainly just watch The Twilight Zone I have read one of his books and found the tales to be just as odd as an episode of TZ. If you’ve read any of my work you tend to get a sense of weird plots, twist endings or things that just aren’t normal. Well this is because of my admiration for Rod Serling and The Twilight Zone. The man was ahead of his time and I’m just one of many people he’s influenced but nevertheless I am grateful that someone like him has such a creative mind because it’s helped in the creation of mine.
Seriously Justin? Yes, seriously. Most people find Shakespeare boring or confusing and I would totally agree with you..but that also didn’t stop me from enjoying his work and being inspired by him. One reason I consider Shakespeare an influence and inspiration is because of the fact that he pretty much created his own language and his simplicity to truly make a drama a drama as well as his way to write a poem. The way he wrote and how he wrote are confusing but the fact that there’s meanings hidden behind his words is what gets me. I like being able to write something and the person has to read it a few times to understand, I like doing that and it’s because of Shakespeare. I find his sonnet’s brilliant and some of his plays tolerable especially Macbeth so yes Shakespeare is an inspiration of mine.
You may not recognize his name but you’ve probably seen some of his work. Get Shorty, Jackie Brown, Out of Sight, Hombre, 3:10 to Yuma, The Big Bounce, etc. He also wrote the tv series Justified on FX. I started reading Leonard after I began watching Justified. After I read one of his books I was hooked. I enjoy the way he tells a story whether it’s crime or a western. He really creates a visual of the scene in a book and the characters are likable and that really spoke to me. After reading a few of his works and watching a few movies I was inspired by him. I tend to keep reading more of his books to become more inspired by him.
Frost is an inspiration because of the beautiful way to which he wrote poetry. Also I find “The Road Not Taken” to be a great metaphor for life that I find myself using frequently in my own life choices. I haven’t quite read as much Frost but I’ve read enough to be inspired and influenced by him.
I’m not sure if this is surprising or an of course you are because every poet is somehow inspired by her. I am inspired by Emily Dickinson for the somber way in which she told a poem. Her sadness spoke volumes and sometimes when I’m sad I find myself channeling my inner Emily trying to find the words to express how I feel.
This one probably surprises people. Hughes has a few poems that are quite short but the meaning and feeling behind them are so strong and powerful that one can’t help but feel inspired. I like Hughes for his realness, his ability to capture your attention in such quick simplicity. He is an underrated inspiration of mine.
Like most kids during the 90's I grew up reading Goosebump books. I didn’t read much but when I did I collected and read the Goosebumps series. Stine wrote for children and teens so I feel when it comes to dimmed down horror I take my inspirations from him. Also some of his ideas are pretty creative.
|Posted on May 21, 2013 at 3:10 PM|
Self-Published and Indie Authors, you know us. We are not a generation nor are we a movement we are a good share of folk who are just like any normal author who goes and publishes traditionally so why don’t we get taken seriously? Why is it that some people and companies tend to frown upon self published authors and not give them the credit they would give a traditional published author? Why are we not taken seriously by everyone? It doesn’t need to be said but here it is anyways, we write, we think and we pour our hearts out into our work just as much as anyone else yet the minute we decide to go on our own or take the lesser road traveled we are looked upon sometimes as having been taken by the plague. To be clear this is not about whether one is better than the other, that’s not what’s being asked here what’s being asked is why are self-published Indie authors not given the same respect as those who go with the big guns of big time publishing companies? It’s not like we have found the fountain of publishing, this is not a shortcut it’s merely another innovative way for an author to get their work officially out there without the fancy contracts, waiting around or ten sets of eyes to overlook it. There is no reason to be against an Indie author, sometimes authors go both routes(let’s call them bipublished) are they too not considered normal?
I’ve heard that places such as Barnes&Noble don’t take self-publishers serious. This is as much to say they will not consider promoting or carrying an authors book who has not gone though traditionally to publish it or doesn’t have it available On Ingrams books. If a book has an ISBN it should be completely irrelevant as to whether or not it’s self-published or not it simply doesn’t matter. Now maybe I’m making a big deal out of nothing but self-published authors sometimes have it harder than the others because we have to promote on our own. We have to go out and get the deals done and what not. Yet you would think a company such as Barnes&Noble(the biggest and perhaps the only majoy bookstore left) would accommodate and accept Indie authors as much as any author.
Their reasons will be they want books they know will sell, that they can make money of off but what’s a self-published book to a traditional regular book that’s been in their store that no one’s ever bought? There’s no difference to me. If anything it should be a win-win for them, they get a local Indie author to do a book signing, they make money and get people to their store and the author makes money and gets people to have copies of their book. But again not all of their stores or other book stores and companies are like this. We Self-published and Indie authors are not outcasts and we are not to be taken lightly, we are a kind, generous and heartwarming folk(well most of us anyways) and we are no different then those authors who go the traditional route.
|Posted on September 18, 2012 at 11:30 PM|
We dream. We all dream. We dream everytime we sleep but sometimes we don't remember them all. It's also said that all dreams have meanings however from personal experience sometimes I question this statement as I'm sure we all do. Some dreams are easy to read into to know what the meaning may be while others make no sense at all and are down right bizarre. Then again not all of us are psychologists so maybe we can't really figure out what the meaning is but certainly there is an inner meaning to all our dreams. Since I am not a professional, one must realize that I'm merely basing my words off opinions and experiences. I have found dreams to be a way to sometimes be preminitions as in seeing the future i.e, seeing something before it's happened, a pleasant happening of circumstances we normally would not find ourselves in but nevertheless enjoy seeing ourselves in. It's also sometimes said that what we do in the course of a day sometimes influence our dreams and make them so.
As a writer I get my inspiration from many different sources. One place I rarely get ideas from but when I do I make sure I remember them is dreams. Dreams can make for some really interesting ideas for your next story whether they make sense or not. You could have a dream about an ancient warrior fighting in Rome and decide to write about it or you have a dream about yourself floating on a root beer float in the Amazon jungle conversing with a talking pencil and write about that. The ideas are endless when it comes to dreams but it's more about whether you remember them and deem them worthy enough to write about that's the big deal. Dreams whether the meaning is clear or not make great writing ideas and one thing to do to make sure you remember them is to keep a pen and pencil handy by your bed. Another thing you could do is have a writing app in your phone(because I'm sure your phone is by your side while asleep) and when you awake just go to the app and write down what you remember from your dream. The idea here is not only to remember but not to let a good idea slip away. I can't tell you all the times I dreamt of a great idea for a story but by the time I was up and ready for my day I had forgotten it. So the best thing to do is write it down when you wake up from the dream, assuming it's good but your brain will decide that for you.
Finally, analyzing dreams. I know I said in the beginning we aren't all psychologists but from a writing standpoint we should analyze them. If we are in the dream doing something we wouldn't normally do, what does it mean? As another you not only ask this but you also may is this story worthy? Would people enjoy this? It's one thing to come up with an idea on the spot but dreaming up an idea you technically had no control of coming up with? Just another question. Do your best to make sense of a dream if it's not clear or make it clear and bit through it. In other words you can't explain it so turning it into a story idea as is will only also confuse others so it's best to try and figure it out or take what you can make sense of and remember and go from there. I have had plenty of dreams where I had no idea what I dreamt, I woke up frightened or it was clear and pleasant. You know what they all have in common? I didn't wrtie them down and I couldn't precisely dtermine what the meaning behind me having them was. Not all dreams should be taken and made into ideas, some are best left as dreams and if it's got deep meaning and your meant to know what it's about then you'll likely have it again.
This was just my analysis on how dreaming can make for great ideas. Do you use your dreams as ideas for your writing?
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